- Associated Press - Saturday, March 29, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The Greensburg Pirates showed up to the Class 3A state finals well-prepared. They even brought along championship T-shirts.

Luckily, the shirts weren’t a waste.

Players wore them to the podium after the team’s 89-76 victory over the Bowman Academy Eagles on Saturday night.

The commemorative shirts read: “Back 2 Back State Champions.” The Pirates won the 3A title a year ago. They were runner-up in 2012.

“These young men, what they’ve done over the last three years has been amazing,” Greensburg coach Stacy Meyer said. “They’ve done every childhood dream of a kid who plays basketball.”

Sean Sellers had 27 points and 16 rebounds and Colin Rigney finished with 23 points, including seven 3-pointers, to lead the Greensburg Pirates (28-1), which closed out the third quarter on an 8-0 run and later went on an 11-3 spurt in the fourth to take a 19-point lead.

Davon Dillard had 21 points and Austin Daniels added 14 for the Eagles (22-5), which had a chance at being the first team in Indiana to win a championship in three different classes.

Sellers scored a lay-up and a pair of free throws before Tom Lawrence made a free throw with 4:40 remaining to give the Pirates an 81-62 advantage.

Then the Eagles forced four turnovers went on a 10-0 spurt.

Anthony Cole and Raynard Perry each scored on lay-up and Justin King, who finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds, made four free throws and later a lay-up with 2:27 to make it 81-72.

Rigney and Ryan Welage each scored to extend the lead again.

“We were going through the motions for 3 1/2 quarters,” Eagles coach Marvin Rae said. “We only gave them hell for 3-4 minutes. We were playing without meaning until the final three minutes of the game.”

And aside from the stretch late in the game, the Pirates had complete control.

They shot 56 percent and out rebounded the Eagles 47-33.

Rigney was a pain to the Eagles. His seven baskets from 3-point range were one shy of tying the record of 3’s in a Class 3A championship game.

He helped build Greensburg’s big lead in the fourth and hit three straight 3’s, including one to give the Pirates a 76-57 advantage with 5:39 remaining.

But the Eagles found an edge. They forced the Pirates to 22 turnovers and scored 17 points off the mistakes.

Bowman Academy didn’t let Greensburg’s win come easy.

“You don’t see that pressure in high school very often,” Bryant McIntosh said. “We got a little tired and the last three minutes felt like a very long time. There were times where we’d look at the scoreboard and think, ‘Can’t this one be over? They don’t stop coming.’ But I thought we handled it well.”

The Eagles had a chance at being the first team in Indiana to win a state championship in three different classes. They won the Class A final in 2010 and last year won the Class 2A championship.

Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC.

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